The expected onslaught of 5G antenna (and fiber) installations has brought to the forefront the need for efficient, innovative products and support systems. Both honorees in the Active Infrastructure Devices category of our 2020 Cabling Innovators Awards help to make 5G deployment and operation more efficient.
PowerShift 2000FA is the latest addition to CommScope’s PowerShift family of intelligent plug-and-play DC power supplies. In cellular networks, PowerShift regulates the voltage at the remote radio unit (RRU), keeping it at a constant -54 VDC on a steady basis without a tower-top converter. “Cell sites are steadily demanding more and more power at the top of the tower,” CommScope explains. “New radios, as well as those in development, need more energy to help meet the world’s insatiable thirst for more capacity and faster throughput. These radios, whether in an LTE network or a new 5G network with massive MIMO architecture, have raised the average wattage requirements per RRU from 100 to 300 watts at the turn of the century to 1 to 2 kilowatts today. Moreover, operators are installing more RRUs at the tower top than ever before.” Typically, thicker and heavier copper cables would be used to deliver power to these new RRUs. “What the industry needed was a way to keep using the same copper cables that were on a cell site, even as the radio’s power requirements increased,” CommScope further explained. “This would enable a simpler, less-expensive upgrade. It also would allow a company to standardize its cabling, deploying the same diameter cables across all sites, effectively lowering inventory costs.” The PowerShift 2000FA can supply up to 2000W per RRU in a one-rack chassis, supporting up to 4 RRUs per rack, with both ganged and front inputs to make connections easy in tight spaces. It also increases battery backup times by as much as 50%.